Ten members of the Class of 2012 are recipients of Fulbright fellowships for 2013. The Fulbright Program is designed to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries" and encourages collaboration in developing ideas and addressing international concerns. Fellowships are awarded to American students, young professionals, and artists selected through a national, open, merit-based competition for study, research, internships and/or service abroad. With a broad academic focus including the social sciences, humanities, and the sciences, the program emphasizes leadership development.
Jacqueline Bailey-Ross will use her Fulbright fellowship to conduct research on the African population in St. Petersburg, Russia. Bailey-Ross undertook independent study on Haitian Creole language, history, and culture in addition to her work for her major in Russian. She believes her research in Russia will bring the two areas of study together into one cohesive project, which she sees culminating with a documentary and a collection of narratives. While on campus, Bailey-Ross, from Clifton Heights, Pa., co-founded Coalition for Haiti, an organization which fundraises for Haiti relief, and was involved in SASS (Swarthmore African-American Student Society) and Student Council. She also worked in Career Services.
Andrew Cheng, who pursued a double honors major in linguistics and religion, will spend the next year teaching English at a secondary school in South Korea. Originally from Fremont, Calif., Cheng was introduced to South Korean culture by his Korean and Korean-American friends at Swarthmore. He will see the country for the first time during his Fulbright project. Although he has not had extensive teaching experience, Cheng hopes to use his time as an English instructor to determine whether he sees his future in the field of education. As a student, Cheng was actively involved in the Swarthmore Christian Fellowship, which he describes as the most significant community in his life at Swarthmore. He was also a member of the a capella group Essence of Soul and the Swing Dance club.
Philip Chodrow of Staunton, Va., will spend the academic year at the University of Oslo in Norway. He plans to continue developing his thesis, which explores the human ability to identify with others and its consequence on rationality, language, and ethics. Oslo University's Center for the Study of the Mind in Nature will offer him the opportunity to take an interdisciplinary approach to his inquiries, incorporating psychology, philosophy, and social theory within the classroom setting. As a student, he directed the Ninja Grams program for three years, worked as a Writing Associate, and served as a teaching assistant, admissions tour guide, and math clinician. He also developed an interest in martial arts, particularly aikido. He graduated with an honors major in philosophy and an honors minor in mathematics.
Melissa Frick, who graduated with an honors major in biology and a course major in economics, plans to leave her Swarthmore hometown to research cancer immunology at the Centre d'Immunologie Marseille-Luminy (CIML) in Marseille, France. Frick attributes her desire to pursue research to her positive experience working with Professor Nick Kaplinsky on research for her thesis. As a student, Frick ran for the varsity cross-country and track teams for all four years; additionally, she participated in the Global Health Forum and served on the Housing Committee, Curriculum Committee, and the College Judiciary Committee as a Resident Assistant. After her one-year stay in France, Frick will matriculate to the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania on a full tuition scholarship.
Brice Jordan of Mooresville, N.C., will spend the next year working as an English teaching assistant in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Graduating with a double major in Russian and sociology and anthropology, Jordan hopes to facilitate interfaith discussion clubs and English book clubs at "American Corners" around the country in addition to his teaching. His work is inspired by his time abroad during the summers of 2010 and 2011, during which he worked as a field intern for the human rights NGO Memorial in St. Petersburg and as a Public Affairs intern at the U.S. embassy in Armenia. Jordan additionally spent a semester abroad in Russia, where he fell in love with teaching conversational English. While at Swarthmore, Jordan tutored for the Chester Mutual Ministry program, served as a Student Academic Mentor (SAM), and was president of the Russian Club.
Rosalie Lawrence of Santa Cruz, Calif., will explore vaccine development in plants at the University of Botswana. The project aims to make vaccine development more accessible in developing countries. Lawrence graduated with an honors major in biology, an honors minor in chemistry, and a course minor in environmental studies. Due to her commitments on campus as a varsity swimmer and a Resident Assistant, Lawrence wasn't able to travel abroad during her undergraduate years and is greatly looking forward to immersing herself in a different culture. As a student, she served on the planning committee for Expanding Your Horizons, a conference that encourages middle school girls to pursue science and math, and worked in the Kaplinsky Plant Genetics Lab for a year and a half.
William Lin will teach English at the Macao Polytechnic Institute in Macao during the upcoming year. Graduating with an honors political science major and educational studies minor, Lin became interested in education during his first semester at Swarthmore when he registered for an introductory-level course after being lotteried out of another class. Because he has not had significant experience working in a classroom, Lin is looking forward to the opportunity to work extensively with students. Originally from San Diego, Calif., Lin was actively involved in the Swarthmore Asian Organization during his time at Swarthmore. His involvement with the Intercultural Center on campus introduced Lin to peers who share his commitment to community-building, social justice, and fostering greater inclusion at Swarthmore.
Elan Silverblatt-Buser, from Corrales, N.M., will work with the non-profit International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center based near Mexico City, Mexico. His work will involve researching plants that have a greater resistance to heat and drought in an attempt to determine whether the threats imposed by worldwide temperature increases can be viewed solely as technological challenges to food production. As an honors biology major with minors in sociology and anthropology and environmental studies, Silverblatt-Buser became interested in the issues surrounding food production while working on his brother's organic farm in Corrales during the summertime and through independent research conducted with Associate Professor of Biology Nick Kaplinsky. While a student, he was also involved in an independent jazz combo, club soccer, and the Chester Garden Project.
Zachary Weiner plans on teaching English to primary or secondary students in rural Malaysia. Originally from Baltimore, Md., Weiner first developed an interest in Malaysia following his parents' move to its capital city last year. Graduating with a special major in educational studies and linguistics, he hopes to explore the different varieties of English spoken in the country and encourage his students to find a balance between preserving their local culture and entering into a global community of English speakership. While at Swarthmore, Weiner served as an English for Speakers of Other Languages tutor in Chinatown, working with children from China, Laos, Honduras, and Indonesia. Associate Professor of Education Diane Anderson's Literacy Research Seminar sparked his interest in linguistics and education by exploring how students communicate inside and outside the classroom.
Joseph Willens, who graduated as a political science major from Brooklyn, N.Y., will spend a year working as an English teaching assistant at a university in Bogotá, Colombia. Willens first became passionate about education and Latin America after spending a summer abroad with the Village Education Project, a Swarthmore alum-founded ogranization dedicated to preparing students from rural villages in Ecuador for high school. Beyond his teaching, Willens hopes to develop a side project addressing some of the major social issues in Colombia. During his time at Swarthmore, Willens led the program Extraordinary Possibilities, which worked with high school students in Chester, Pa., to explore democratic means that could help improve their community. He also served as the senior class vice president.